Monday Mornings with Madison

Social Media Etiquette for Professionals

Word Count: 1,511
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

It is estimated that by next year, about 3 billion people globally will be using social media sites; joining, reading, scrolling, commenting, sharing, and posting on one or more sites regularly.  While there are still some social media holdouts – these are people who refuse to be on social media because they say they don’t want to know what their friends are eating but were also the ones who refused to get a cell phone until 2002 – that audience is growing smaller every day.  Which sites are most popular varies by country, age group, functionality, and purpose.  In the U.S., there are multitude of popular social media sites.  LinkedIn.  Facebook.  Pinterest.  TicTok.  Twitter.  Instagram.  Snapchat.  Tumblr.  WhatsApp.  Reddit.  YouTube.  Messenger.  Nextdoor.  Quora.  Twitch.  Flickr.  Yelp.   The list goes on and on. Continue reading

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How Well Do You Know Your Brand?

Word Count: 1,346
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

How well do you know your company’s brand?  Try this quick quiz to find out how you score.  Be honest with yourself when you answer these questions.  No one else needs to know the truth, but you should. Continue reading

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Servant Leadership, Part 2

Word Count: 1,647
Estimated Read Time: 6 ½ min.

Manager vs. Leader vs. Servant Leader

Most organizations have managers who oversee what is being done, and ensure it is being done in the best possible way through and with others.  It is a position that exists in all fields, from business and education to medicine, hospitality, and sports.  There are managers in the for-profit sector as well as the non-profit, not-for-profit and government sectors.  They manage people or work or both.  Managers implement.  They help themselves and others to become high performers, putting processes in place that support accomplishing goals and ensuring that tasks are accomplished well.  Managers set goals, plan work, define roles, organize resources, measure progress, develop supportive relationships, and direct progress.  They focus on short-term results, seek stability, and are reactive.  They usually have power because of position, not persuasion.  In short, managers are useful and ubiquitous. Continue reading

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Servant Leadership, Part 1

Word Count: 1,310
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and eight others died in a tragic helicopter accident at the age of 41.  Considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, Bryant had retired from the National Basketball Association (NBA) after playing for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years.  With them, he won five NBA championships.  He also won two Olympic medals.  In addition to his keen ability to leap and dunk, his skillset included a “turnaround, fadeaway jumpshot” that left defenders helpless and footwork that made him one of the NBA’s most  gifted scorers in the league.  On the last game he played before retiring in 2016, he scored 60 points in a single game.  That might be impressive were it not for the fact that he had scored 83 points in another game — the second highest number of points ever scored by a player in a single game — and is currently the fourth highest cumulative scorer in NBA history.   He was also an 18-time All-Star (out of the 20 seasons he played), 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008.   That is quite a legacy. Continue reading

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Underestimating an Opponent is Risky Business

Word Count: 1,611
Estimated Read Time: 6 1/2 min.

The Cost of Ignoring an Underdog

A very strange thing happened on December 29, 2019 at a football game between the New England Patriots, the 2018 Super Bowl defending champion, and the long-time lackluster Miami Dolphins.   In fact, it was considered by most sports experts and game aficionados (which does not include the writer of this post) as one of the strangest things to happen in football in the entire 2010—2020 decade.  And, with just two days left in the decade, this was saying a lot.  What happened?  The Dolphins won.  While it might seem that in any game there is a 50/50 chance of one team beating the other, this was not the case heading into this particular matchup.   The Dolphins entered the game as 16.5 underdogs.  Why? Continue reading

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When Small and Midsized Businesses Update Websites in 2020 – Part 3

Word Count: 1,493
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Part 3:   Understanding the Process

The custom design and development of a website is a challenging and complex process.  For those tackling that undertaking, it helps to understand some of the basics of the process. Continue reading

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When Small and Midsized Businesses Update Websites in 2020, Part 2

Word Count: 1,325
Estimated Read Time: 5 ½ min.

Templated Site vs. Custom Site

Twenty years ago, most websites were nothing more than glorified brochures.  They delivered information online.  Today, a company website is used not only to deliver information but it also is able to capture a great deal of data, track user behavior and provide a wide array of tools, functionality and service. Continue reading

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When Small and Midsized Businesses Update Websites in 2020

Word Count: 1,658
Estimated Read Time: 6 ½ min.

Part 1:  Vetting Vendors

For small and mid-sized businesses, it is hard to stay on top of website development thanks to the accelerating pace of change. If your company’s website has not been updated in the last three years, it is archaic. If it doesn’t track traffic and interact with customers in a timely way, it is antiquated. And if it doesn’t capture and merge customer data into a sophisticated CRM system, it is obsolete. It’s as simple — and as painful — as that. If this is true of your company’s website, it is time for a website makeover. Continue reading

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Facing Trials and Blazing Trails in 2020

Word Count: 1,260
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

It’s often been said that balance is the key to a happy life.  That seems to be true even when it comes to trials, tribulations and trouble.   While too much trauma throughout life – especially during early childhood — damages physical and mental health, little or no distress and disturbances can also weaken a person.  Not having negative experiences leaves a person fragile and vulnerable to life’s challenges.  It does not allow a deep resilience and toughness to develop.  Dealing with and overcoming problems develops character.  Grit, it seems, is like a muscle.  The more we exercise it, the stronger it gets.  So, there is a sweet spot in life experiences where individuals become stronger.  A person who suffers a childhood trauma but is able to bounce back becomes a much stronger, more resilient person overall.  An entrepreneur whose business fails is able to learn from those mistakes and become a better business owner the next time around.

Adversity – while deeply unpleasant — strengthens the human soul.   Some of this adversity comes from living in a fallen world full of unethical and immoral behavior.  Some of it arises from knocking up against all kinds of dangers such as natural disasters.  Some of it emanates from the struggles and effort that goes into dealing with the complexities of modern times.  And some adversity just arises from being alive, such as illnesses and diseases.  The truth is that there are very few people who manage to skate through life without any trials.  While some might seem to have it “easy”, in truth, most everyone is fighting some kind of battle.  Some battles are clear and visible, and some are hidden from sight.  But very few (if any) people have a “perfect, trouble-free life.” Continue reading

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Taking Stock: What Kind of Person Do You Want to Be in 2020?

Word Count: 2,105
Estimated Read Time: 8 1/2 min.

With less than 10 days left in 2019, most people have begun to focus on the horizon.  It will be the start of a new quarter – and a secular new year and decade — in a few days.  For those who study the daily portion of the Talmud, January 1, 2020 is also the Celebration of the Completion of the Talmud, the “Siyum Hashas”, which is the culmination of seven and a half years of daily learning.  So this is a time of endings, and also a time of new beginnings for many.  Such moments lead most people to do some self-assessment and a bit of soul-searching and introspection.  They often make a written list of resolutions, create professional plans and set goals.  This is a worthwhile exercise; something every person should do periodically.

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